Pep Guardiola has stressed that Manchester City are not out for “revenge” against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side got the better of Man City in last season’s titanic semi-final bout, winning 6-5 on aggregate after scoring two late goals in a remarkable second leg.
Guardiola, however, has said that desire will be the driver in Tuesday’s first-leg clash at the Bernabeu as they aim to reach the final for the first time since their loss to Chelsea in 2021.
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“We are not here for revenge. What happened, happened in the past,” he said.
“The lesson we can learn is to learn a little bit what happened, get a good result and perform well tomorrow to give us the opportunity to reach the final when we play in Manchester.
“This is completely different to last season. It didn’t happen last season because we played Real Madrid and they know what to do. But the more we play against them the more we learn.
“The psychological part I don’t know how important it is, we just need to play the best we can.”
Guardiola is confident that Man City can win the Champions League this year – a task he is yet to accomplish since he joined the club in 2016.
“I would say, seven years ago when I arrived, we wanted to win the Champions League definitely,” he said. “We want it.
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“Last season it was the end of the world, and here we are again. There are clubs in Europe who invest just to win the Champions League and then they go down and down.
“Every season we want to be there – like Real Madrid, and in the past Barcelona, Liverpool.
“It is a process. I would love to have won in the past, but the important thing is we get better every season.
“We arrived here last season with encouragement to get to the final. We played really good in both games. But it was not enough.
“But what happened in the past is the past. We are not here for revenge. It’s just another opportunity.
“As much as we are here, one day we will get it. One day we will reach the final and we will win it. We come here to do this, this season.
“Last season we also came here to reach the final and win it. But it didn’t happen because we played against Real Madrid and in this competition, they know exactly what they have to do.
“As much as we play against them or the other top teams in Europe, much closer we will be.”
Ancelotti believes Man City’s level has gone up since last year’s tie because of the addition of striker Erling Haaland, who has scored 51 goals in all competitions this season.
“Haaland is a very dangerous player,” he said. “Not just his goals but he’s a constant threat. It’s a very complete team, they can defend and attack.
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“They have a very clear idea how they want to play football. It’s not just about stopping Haaland, it’s about stopping a team who at times have been unstoppable but we will have our chances. It’s going to be a competitive contest.
“They were a very dangerous team last season but Haaland brings something different. They can play more direct if needed. De Bruyne plays in behind Haaland and can bring the ball down.
“The tie will be decided in that return leg. We want to take a good result to Manchester.”